Building trans-regional partnerships in the fight against trafficking in human beings and organised crime

On 17 May 2017, a transnational workshop was organised for the six participating countries in the EU funded Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings and Organised Crime - Phase 2 project, on the role of mass media in improving the public's awareness about trafficking in human beings (THB). The workshop focused on the different aspects of reporting on THB crimes and the victims, the current good and bad practices, the impact and consequences of media reporting on victims and on public perception of THB in general.

Participants from the six participating countries; Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova, Pakistan and Turkey included anti-THB stakeholders, editors from major media outlets, PR managers for anti-THB state institutions, and NGOs dealing with media and journalist training. The workshop was supported by a number of international experts on trafficking, working with the media, and reporting on THB. 

See photos of the event here.













On 27 February - 2 March 2017 a transnational workshop was organised with the primary objectives of facilitating best practice exchange and sharing between Albanian and Welsh counterparts.

The first day focused on victim protection, assistance provided by NGOs and service providers, and cooperation between authorities and civil society. The programme on the second day focused on law enforcement, investigations, prosecution and partnerships with third sector stakeholders, while the last day focused on strategic partnership building, coordination and identifying next steps. The final day finished with a session looking to identify what general information should be shared with front-line stakeholders in the UK to facilitate improved responses to Albanian THB cases (Country of Origin Information).

The workshop was well received by the delegation members and Welsh counterparts. According to the Albanian delegation the workshop was one of the best examples of this type of exchange visit that had been observed in their working experience.   

Albanian officials offered UK counterparts their support on both victim protection and investigation and prosecution. Albanian law enforcement has the capacity to investigate the origin and records of identified victims, or perpetrators from Albania. Information on where perpetrators / victims came from in Albania, and the modus operandi / route used for exploitation in the UK will assist Albanian authorities in prevention activities. The exact procedure for sharing this data needs to be established, however the capacity and willingness to pursue this from the Albanian delegation members was evident. Ms Gjebrea, the NATC, suggested a number of potential options to address broader THB challenges:

  • Establish a joint task-force with law enforcement to analyse the THB situation and picture between Albania and UK – to trouble-shoot uncertain cases and develop understanding of phenomenon from both sides;
  • Development of common indicators of trafficking between Albania and the UK;
  • Conduct a comparative assessment of both countries NRM and institutional structures and related processes, in order to…
  • …establish focal points and standard operating procedures for information and intelligence sharing, linking the NRMs in both countries, using the Albania-UK MoU as a foundation and guiding principle.

Anti-trafficking awareness training was organised for DGMM personnel working in the Adana region of Turkey on 14 - 15 December 2016, with the primary objectives of increasing the awareness and capacity of DGMM personnel to identify and combat trafficking in human beings.

The training was organised in cooperation with the Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) and was run by Mr Steve Harvey, THB/IFS/2 Lead Expert and Project Coordinator, Mr Dave Newton, Law Enforcement Expert, Mr Abdullah Semih Yildiz, Migration Expert, Protection of the Victims of Human Trafficking Department, DGMM and Mr Rifat Sagut, Prosecutor, Court of Cassation.

The training was attended by a total of 23 participants, of which 19 were male and 3 were female. Of these, 19 were representatives of the DGMM and four were project staff and experts

The key learning points focused on during the training were:

  • What is trafficking in human beings
  • Differences between THB and human smuggling
  • Trafficking situation in Turkey
  • Identification of a victim
  • Interviewing victims of THB

The training benefited from National Experts being present to cover Turkish Criminal Law, Administrative Regulations and Victim Assistance, Protection and Return in Turkey. This was complemented by law enforcement expertise provided by Mr Harvey and Mr Newton. The trainers utilised the training methodologies developed in the THB/IFS/2 Law Enforcement Training Manual, including practical exercises, case studies and role plays. Participants were given case studies to work on in groups, allowing trainers to evaluate their understanding of key concepts, as well as role plays that allowed participants to practice screening interview techniques in line with the PEACE Model. Finally, an interactive crime scene investigation exercise was run with the training manual’s virtual reality crime scene scenario.

This training was the third and final training for DGMM personnel organised in the THB/IFS/2 project. Based on recommendations from previous trainings, efforts were made to ensure that the composition of Turkish and non-Turkish experts were complementary. This was highly effective and confirms that this working methodology should be applied in future where possible.

A Transnational Anti-Trafficking Training Seminar for anti-THB stakeholders from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Moldova was held in Tirana, Albania on 6 – 7 December 2016. The primary objectives were the exchange of good practices on the functioning of NRMs between the three participating countries; improving awareness of the situation in each country on the identification of child victims in situations of begging and living on the streets; highlighting good practice for the identification of THB in mixed migration flows; and elaborating recommendations for future actions to strengthen victim identification and referral processes in each of the three countries.

Between 28 - 30 November 2016, a transnational workshop was organised for Turkish stakeholders in Lisbon, Portugal with the primary objectives of exchanging expertise and information with Portuguese experts and authorities on good practice in the anti-trafficking field. The transnational workshop was organised in cooperation with the Portuguese Observatory on Trafficking in Human Beings (OSTH). The Turkish delegation was composed of a labour inspector from Ankara, the head of Human Resource Development Foundation in Istanbul's THB programme and four DGMM Migration Experts (Antalya, Van, Ankara).

The three days of the workshop were hosted at the Border and Migration Service Headquarters in Lisbon.

A transnational workshop was organised for officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina between 21 - 25 November 2016 with the primary objective of facilitating best practice exchange and sharing between Bosnian and Dutch counterparts on anti-trafficking measures.

The workshop was organised by ICMPD, within the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings - Phase 2 project, for the Bosnian delegation, consisting of; Mr. Samir Rizvo, Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Security; Mr. Muris Selimović,Chief of Department for Re-Admission, Foreign Affairs Service; Mr. Elvir Rakovic - Chief Investigator at State Information and Protection Agency (SIPA); Ms. Diana Kajmaković, Prosecutor, Prosecutor`s Office of BiH; Mr. Drago Čorić, Member of the Strike Force for Combating THB, BiH Border Police; Ms. Amela Efendić, Director, IFS Emmaus (NGO); and Ms. Svjetlana Pavičić, Interpreter.

As part of the workshop, the delegation were received by EUROJUST, EUROPOL, the Dutch Inspectorate SZW, and the office of the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings.

On 25 November, ICMPD organized a multi-agency training for anti-THB awareness for stakeholders in the Izmir region in cooperation with DGMM. The programme covered basic introduction to THB and its characteristics (incl. also identification of THB), and THB-related legal regulation and court practices in Turkey.

 Overall positive feedback from the participants among others suggested the following:

  • More time is needed in order to have more detailed discussions and also explanations by the experts;
  • Psychological aspects of processes related to THB victims should also be dealt with;
  • More relevant local level agencies should be involved;
  • Inter-agency cooperation modalities and how to improve these should receive more attention;
  • The coverage of judicial aspects (both the legislation and the relevant judicial practice) should be more extensive;
  • More case studies should be included;
  • A separate training on interview techniques would be needed;

On 23-24 November 2016, ICMPD organized anti-THB awareness training for DGMM personnel in the Izmir region if Turkey in cooperation with the DGMM .

The training was organised in cooperation with the Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) and was run by Mr Madis Vainomaa, THB/IFS/2 Key Expert, Ms Ivanka Georgieva, ICMPD Project Officer, Mr Dave Newton, Law Enforcement Expert, Ms Helene Miller and Mr Paul Smith, both serving Police Officers working on THB in the London Metropolitan Police Force, Mr Abdullah Semih Yildiz, Migration Expert, Protection of the Victims of Human Trafficking Department, DGMM and Mr Rifat Sagut, Prosecutor, Court of Cassation.

The training was attended by a total of 27 participants, of which 20 were male and 7 were female. Of these, 20 were from the DGMM, 1 participant was a prosecutor from the Court of Cassation, and 6 were project staff and experts.

An assessment of the National Referral Mechanism for victims of trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is now available to download. The assessment was conducted as part of the Fight Against Trafficking in Human Beings and Organized Crime (THB/IFS/2) project.The assessment can be downloaded here.

The assessment report examines the current referral and coordination mechanisms in place in BiH to identify victims and potential victims of trafficking, at national and transnational level, and to refer them to support services while protecting their rights. The report begins with an overview of national legislation and policies, and then discusses the institutional framework for coordination and referral mechanisms to address trafficking. The following chapters examine the specific components of the referral process: identification, reflection period and residence permits, assistance, social welfare and long term assistance for reintegration, access to justice, return and repatriation. The report concludes with recommendations on how to improve the referral process and the protection of rights of trafficked persons.

The report provides specific recommendations on policies and legislation, referral and coordination mechanisms, victim identification, victim assistance, assess to justice, return, repatriation and TRM. 

The findings of the report were presented to national stakeholders to validate and identify next steps to take in developing Bosnia and Herzegovina's referral mechanism. Full details of this meeting are available here

An overview of the National Referral Mechanism for (potential) victims of trafficking in Albania is now available. The overview was conducted as part of the Fight Against Trafficking in Human Beings and Organized Crime (THB/IFS/2) project. The purpose of the assessment was to assess Albania’s capacity to refer (potential) victims at the national and transnational level as well as available victim support services, including a review of the rights of victims. The results and recommendations of this analysis are intended to serve as guidance for the relevant local stakeholders and experts supporting them in improving victim referral in Albania. 

Download the Assessment report (PDF)

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